Bus Éireann strike action postponed to allow for talks

Update 8.10pm: Next week's Bus Éireann strike, which threatened to grind services across the country to the halt, has been postponed to allow for intensive talks.

Following submissions to the Workplace Relations Commission yesterday, the commission requested management to postpone the introduction of cutbacks on February 20 which would have led unions to bring their members out on strike.

The WRC asked the sides to come into three days of talks starting on Friday and running through Monday and Tuesday.

In a shared statement last night, the unions said: "Whist we remain of the view that a multi-stakeholder involvement will ultimately be required to resolve this dispute, in deference to the WRC, we are prepared to engage in this process to establish if we can achieve some progress towards an overarching and sustainable resolution.”

Update 7.17pm: Unions at Bus Eireann have entered exploratory talks to see if they can find a way to avoid next week’s strike.

They're planning an indefinite strike from Monday as the company seeks to impose pay cuts on workers from the 20th.

Both the NBRU and SIPTU say that their members in Irish Rail won’t cross pickets where Bus Éireann staff are striking.

There are at least five joint depots – which could be affected; Galway, Limerick, Sligo Tralee and Waterford.

SIPTU organiser is Greg Ennis: "As far as this trade union is concerned we work within the 1990 trade union industrial act.

"There will be scenarios where people will be working in the same location or the same station or the same area and it is being made clear to us by members of all the sister companies of Bus Éireann that they will not pass pickets, but that is a matter for themselves."

Earlier: A number of Irish Rail depots could close as part of the Bus Éireann strike next week.

The shared locations could close with Irish Rail staff refusing to cross picket lines.

A strike at Bus Éireann is due to begin on Monday - with unions entering Workplace Relations Commission talks this afternoon.

Dermot O'Leary of the National Bus and Rail Union says the strike could disrupt more than just Bus Éireann customers.

Mr O'Leary said: "There are a number of shared locations in this country where Bus Eireann have depots that they share with irish Rail and a large number of people have been telling us that they are going to have extreme difficulty passing pickets to depots next Monday.

"And that's a reality, it's unfortunate, but that's it. It's called a moral compass and people understand that when there's a picket on the gate, it's very difficult for any workers, certainly ours, to pass it."

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